I struggle with contentment, and not in the way that you think. I struggle with being too content, with hitting a space in my life where I feel like “meh, this is good enough,” and then staying there.
Satan loves nothing more than a person content, a person unwilling to take a risk. And that was me, is me, most days. I didn’t want to write; I spent a year rejecting the idea that I had things to say. I hesitated to step into daily time with God because I didn’t really want to wake up early, didn’t want to tell my kids to stay in their rooms. I was content with going to church every Sunday, bible study every Thursday, and then going back to my family and living my life. I wasn’t really doing anything wrong.
But Satan adored the lack of striving. He adored that I sat in my house with my kids day after day not reaching out. He loved that I didn’t ever open my Bible unless I was in a church building. And, more than anything, he loved that my prayers were less of a conversation and more of a list of requests to God.
My life wasn’t making ripples; it wasn’t changing anyone else’s. My life was about me, about my family, about my friends. And it was all existing adjacent to God and my life with Him, but my life wasn’t God-centered, and the enemy loved it.
And then I made a change. I started to wake up early, I started to reach out to other Moms around me, I started to write in a journal. It’s not perfect, it’s not every day, but I’d like to imagine Satan isn’t so happy with my new normal. I’m not content to stay where I’m at, I’m not content to consume and not share it with the world. But like I said, I’m not always perfect.
I can still be stuck in contentment, stagnant in my current state of life.
I can be content with my writing; I just got to 250 followers, I reached my goal of averaging two blogs a month for the year. I’m good. But what kind of writer would I become if I was simply content with that, never reaching for more?
I can become content in my marriage. We don’t fight too often. We talk about spiritual things, we serve together, we pray together. But what if God wants more? What if he wants us to try new things, to go new places, but we’re content here?
I can become content in my parenting. My kids are well-behaved outside our home, they often care for each other well, and they are mostly respectful to me. But is that all I want for them? Is that all that God has called me to do for them? I mean it’s a great start, but don’t I want my kids to be world changers? Don’t I want them to spread the peace and love of Christ wherever they go?
I want my kids to be difference makers, I want my marriage to influence others to seek after God, and I want my writing to spread the love of Jesus to a greater audience than 250. I could easily just be content, and that wouldn’t be sinful. People would still say “good job” and pat me on the back. And I would still be saved by grace and promised eternal life, but God has offered more.
The devil would love nothing more than for us to remain where we are. He would love for us to look around and say “hmm this is good. All of this is good. All of this is enough.” He would love for us to put on blinders to the world around us and focus on what we already have. He would love for us to look at our businesses, our families, our ministry, our marriages, our dreams and say “well it’s good enough. I think I’ll just stay here…” He would do a little dance, he would claim victory over us, he would know that his work there was done.
But what would happen if we said no to contentment? What if we said no to staying put, to staying “good,” to staying safe, and we stepped into fear and weakness and unknown because we knew His abundance would be there waiting?
The enemy would hate that. He would hate to see us asking God what next? He would hate for us to be holding to our faith as we share God’s love with others. He would hate us taking risks in the name of Jesus because he knows that the God in us can’t fail.
I’ll say that again: the God in us cannot fail.
Knowing that, what discomfort do you need to step into? What dream do you need to make a reality? What relationship do you need to press into, make better, empower to do God’s will?
Satan would love for you to stay right where you are; let’s not give him that power. Let’s frustrate him with our dreams and plans, and our faith in God that makes them all possible. Let’s step into an abundant and lively faith that is more than we could ever ask or imagine.
Make a plan, write a goal, have a talk; don’t let the enemy keep you where you are.
We are easily creatures of habit. We need continual challenges to keep us moving and growing. God shows us that in many examples. Like, He instructed Israel in the wilderness, “Keep your eye on the sky, don’t get too settled …” Concerning manna, He said, ” I will send it new every morning.” He is faithful! Everything in the world and all we have belongs to Him. As that awesome old song goes: “We give You but your own, whatever that gift may be. All that we own is thine alone, a gift (a trust) Oh Lord from Thee!” Trust and obedience are the only thing we can give Him that He doesn’t already own. Yes, there is a big difference between resting … taking a rest and entering into His Rest. We are most productive when we are In His Rest!